The Glen Iris Junior Football Club (GIJFC) have continued their longstanding partnership with the Papunya Foundation — connecting the club with the remote Northern Territory Indigenous community of Papunya — with 18 of the clubs’ Under 13 boys and girls having recently travelled to the Northern Territory during the School Holidays.
The Papunya Foundation was established to create the resources — both money and people — to fund and organise this annual trip with the purpose to ‘Connect Communities through Football’.
This year, due to flooded roads, the normal destination of Papunya was replaced with a trip to Hermmansburg (also known as Ntaria), an Aboriginal community in Ljirapinta Ward of the MacDonnell Shire in the 125 kilometres west-southwest of Alice Springs.
As part of the program, GIJFC welcomed community members from Papunya to their club last week with several players participating in Round 10 YJFL football over the weekend.
The Papunya kids were also treated to a once in a lifetime experience from the Melbourne Football Club (MFC), with players attending a MFC training session on Thursday before forming the guard of honour for the team in the club’s Friday night game against the Brisbane Lions at the MCG.
The Melbourne Football Club have developed a strong relationship with the GIJFC through their community ties and travel to the Northern Territory annually as part of their AFL program.
The GIJFC and Papunya Foundation partnership was developed in 2013, with over 85 GIJFC players having participated in the unique experience spending time in the desert, playing football, hunting witchetty grubs, and learning about Indigenous culture and history.
Donate to the Papunya Foundation here: http://www.papunyafoundation.org/donate